tone-deaf trailer

The new film Tone-Deaf stars Robert Patrick as a millennial hating baby boomer who decides it is time for his generation to finally make a stand to today’s youth…by booby-trapping his house and AirBnB-ing it out to a down-on-her-luck self-centered young woman named Olive (played by Amanda Crew). 

Patrick’s Harvey is a pragmatic guy who just happens to have lost a few marbles and wants to know what it feels like to torment and kill a dumb millennial. We know this because he breaks the fourth wall, Deadpool-style, to talk to us, the audience and about his plans. It’s not quite as easy as it seems because, just like in real life, boomers constantly underestimate millennials and Harvey gets a lot more than he bargained for.

Tone-Deaf is a fun bit of escapist genre and I got to talk to its two stars and director Ricky Bates Jr. shortly after their SXSW premiere. 

Read More »

Bill Tench looks like he has the world weighing on his shoulders in season two of Mindhunter. The hunch, the looks of worry and distress, you can feel the restrained F.B.I. agent often coming so close to breaking, especially during a stunning scene in which he confronts, not questions, Charles Manson. The character remains endlessly fascinating to watch, as does the rest of Mindhunter.

Season two marks another one of the many collaborations between actor Holt McCallany and director David Fincher, which is a relationship going back to Alien 3. In-person, McCallany is just as captivating as he is on screen. He has such a great voice, so after hanging onto his every word during our interview with him, I left the Mindhunter junket thinking, “No wonder David Fincher loves filming this guy.” Today, he’s perhaps the closest we have to old school actors like, to name an example, Burt Lancaster, sharing a similar combination of authority and vulnerability. McCallany looks and sounds like a movie star straight out of the ’50s, making him all the more perfect for Bill Tench.

I only saw a handful of episodes before speaking with the actor, hence no questions about the scene with Charles Manson, but he discussed with us the Son of Sam sequence, his longtime collaboration with David Fincher, and Bill Tench’s worldview.

Read More »

Blinded by the Light Trailer

Viveik Kalra is likely not a name you know, unless you happened to have seen the Sundance TV mini-series Next of Kin (he had a supporting role in it) or caught his other series Beecham House on PBS earlier this summer. But Kalra has been getting a great deal of acclaim since January when his film debut Blinded by the Light, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and quickly became a favorite among critics and audiences. 

The film concerns a young Pakistani-British boy named Javed (Kalra), living in the crap town of Luten in 1987, when Britain was under the brutal reign of Margaret Thatcher, whose leadership seemed to usher the return of highly racist ideas among the populace. But when young, synth-pop-loving would-be poet and writer is introduced to the music of Bruce Springsteen by a school friend, the world opens up to him as he begins to realize that the hard journey of a 30-something rock star from New Jersey is quite similar to his own struggles at home, in school, and in his changing country. It’s an uplifting and unapologetically joyful coming-of-age film from director Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham), based on the memoir by journalist Sarfraz Manzoor, both of whom collaborated on the screenplay, and made the film with Springsteen’s blessing and quite a handful of his original songs.

Kalra is now filming writer/director Neil Burger’s new sci-fi thrill Voyagers, co-starring Colin Farrell, Tye Sheridan, and Lily-Rose Depp. /Film caught up with him in May during his appearance at the Chicago Critics Film Festival to discuss his crash-course introduction to the music of Bruce Springsteen, how he got the role of Javed, and how this music and experience has altered the course of his life as well. Blinded by the Light is currently in theaters.

Read More »

Jason Sudeikis interview

Jason Sudeikis has a real talent for making characters more likable than they probably are on paper. In the case of his new movie, Driven, he plays John DeLorean’s buddy, Jim Hoffman, a guy with a knack for bullshitting. He frequently lies, and yet there’s something oddly charming about the F.B.I. informant – maybe his honesty about being a bit of a phony. That’s not a level of self-awareness DeLorean, who’s basically Jim Hoffman if he achieved great success, shows in the movie.

The two friends are two sides of the same coin in director Nick Hamm‘s critically well-received drama, which shares no relation to the 2001 Renny Harlin movie co-starring Burt Reynolds. Based on a true story involving cocaine, DeLorean’s iconic car, and the F.B.I., it’s a wild true story about friendship and facade. It’s also a bit of a buddy movie with Sudeikis and Lee Pace playing close but distant friends, both comical in their own ways.

Recently, we had the chance to briefly talk to Sudeikis about playing Hoffman and figures from history, lessons learned from SNL and Second City, and his take on the long-gestating Fletch reboot.

Read More »

fletch update

Another Fletch movie has been in the works for around 20 years now. Based on Gregory McDonald‘s novels, the investigative journalist first hit the big screen back in 1985 with Chevy Chase giving one of his most sincere and career-defining performances. Since 2011, a reboot and origin story, titled Fletch Won, has been kicking around in development.  Warner Bros. envisioned a comedy franchise when SNL alum Jason Sudeikis signed up to star, but a year later, the reboot landed at Relativity and seemingly never picked up momentum. Since then, Relativity went bankrupt and we’ve heard very little about the project. There are no new major developments to share, but Sudeikis did recently tell us the reboot is still possible and what he has in mind for the role.

Read More »

Good Boys trailer

Most interviews are a little nerve-racking. If you do enough of them, the butterflies in the tummy tend to only pop up on special occasions, but you’re always just a tad on edge because there’s a lot of uncertainty. What if the interview subjects are tired? What if the questions you’ve thought up and think are pretty good turn out to be the same crap they’ve heard a hundred times that day?

That uncertainty doubles when you’re talking to kids. Anything can happen! They could give you one sentence answers or they can go the opposite way and go crazy but not really answer anything. I’ve experienced both over my time doing this and I’m pleased to say the cast of Good Boys struck a nice balance between being little professionals and also still kids that are excited to talk about the fun time they had.

It was an odd experience, though, because in front of me there were the three stars of the movie, Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon and Keith L. Williams as well as writer Lee Eisenberg and writer/director Gene Stupnitsky and behind me there were easily a dozen moms, dads and extended families of the kids I was talking to. So, I had an audience.

Read More »

Whether you’re a hardcore horror fan, a casual moviegoer, or an avid comic book collector who occasionally catches the latest Guillermo del Toro adaptation, chances are you’ve witnessed some of Norman Cabrera’s legendary special effects work. Known mainly for his stunning contributions to del Toro’s Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Cabrera has had a hand in countless productions, ranging from John Flynn’s cyber thriller Brainscan, to Sam Raimi’s wickedly gruesome Drag Me To Hell, all the way to Quentin Tarantino’s ferocious femme fatale flick Kill Bill. Now, Cabrera is back on the big screen with his latest artistry in André Øvredal’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, a chilling tale of four children who learn the hard way what happens when one reads from an ancient book etched in blood. 

I had the pleasure of chatting with the man himself about his incendiary career, in addition to his work on the new Alvin Schwartz adaptation. In the interview, we discuss Cabrera’s early days under the wing of his mentor Rick Baker, his views on the classic practical versus CGI effects debate, and what went down the day when his scarecrow Harold went missing in the corn field. 

Read More »

Yellow Rose Director Interview

Once a resident of Lubbock, Texas, Filipino American Diane Paragas had her head in the clouds like the young harmonious heroine of her new movie, Rose Garcia. 

Now matured into a filmmaker, Paragas has her feature film debut with The Yellow Rose, which was warmly received at its New York premiere at the 42nd Asian American International Film Festival. Wrought with the weighty subject matter of the immigration crisis, The Yellow Rose drops into a tumultuous era to offer a window into the life of a young undocumented Filipino coping with the separation from her detained mother while crafting her own country music in Texas.

I talked with Paragas on recruiting Eva Noblezada and Lea Salonga, depicting detention centers, and finding Texas landscapes.

Read More »

scary stories to tell in the dark trailer

Studio horror movies made for teenagers rarely get much better than Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Based on the books written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell, the horror movie has a more classical than modern approach to its scares. André Øvredal‘s movie relies almost entirely on tension, not jump scares, although it delivers on those, too.

Executive produced by Guillermo del Toro, Øvredal’s movie has a similar handmade quality to its mostly practical monsters: The Pale Lady, the Jangly Man, the Toe Monster, and Harold the Scarecrow. The four of them are as nightmare-inducing as the unshakeable illustrations of the original books. As Hoai-Tran Bui wrote in her review, “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark effectively captures the primal horror of campfire stories while doing justice by Schwartz’s creepy designs in a marriage of old-fashioned practical thrills and sleek modern effects.”

Øvredal took some time to tell us about those thrills and modern effects during a recent phone interview, but if you’ve yet to see the movie, you may want to wait to read what he had to say about movie’s scariest scenes. Some minor spoilers lie ahead.

Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Making of The Peanut Butter Falcon

For years, moviegoers and fans of wrestling have found themselves the unlikeliest of bedfellows. In wrestling, cinema lovers can share their love of detail character work and precise stunts with a brand new audience; in many ways, wrestling is the perfect allegory for those who want to beat the odds and carve out a Hollywood career.

So it comes as no surprise to find that wrestling was one of the main passions in the life of Zack Gottsagen, the breakout star of the upcoming film The Peanut Butter Falcon. Just as his character wants to find work as a professional wrestler, Gottsagen had always dreamed of starring in a major Hollywood film. This makes The Peanut Butter Falcon the rare film with a happy ending both on and offscreen.

Read More »